The Victorian Family Home of Gustav Holst
Holst Victorian House is an independent Arts Council Accredited Museum staffed mostly by Volunteers and governed by The Holst Birthplace Trust. Situated in the house where he was born in 1874, the Museum was founded by Gustav Holst’s daughter Imogen in 1974. See Holst’s piano and the room where he was born and uncover rooms as they would have been during his Victorian Childhood complete with period furniture and family art work.
Holst Victorian House is governed by The Holst Birthplace Trust, a registered charity comprising a board of Trustees. They are responsible for overseeing the running of the Museum and preservation of its collections as well as promoting the appreciation of Holst’s works through an ongoing programme of exhibitions, events and educational activities. Our Trustees come from a variety of backgrounds, including teaching, building conservation and the Civil Service. They meet every 6 weeks.
Hilary Simpson, Chair. Hilary lives in Pittville, a few minutes away from the Museum. She was Chair at Friends of The Wilson (2014-18), and has been a committee member at Cheltenham Arts Council and a Trustee of Friends of Pittville. She is currently Secretary at Pittville History Works and represents the heritage sector on Cheltenham Borough Council’s Culture Board.
John Beard, Honorary Secretary. John was co-opted as Secretary in 2022. He is a retired Civil Servant, whose interests include music and history. He has been Secretary of the Friends of The Wilson and is currently Secretary of Cheltenham Music Festival Society and Cheltenham Music Society.
Sarah Staniforth, Collections and Building. Sarah worked for the National Trust in a number of roles in the Conservation and Historic Properties Departments. She is currently a Trustee of the Science Museum Group, English Heritage, Landmark Trust and Pilgrim Trust. Her interests include conservation and the historic environment.
John Wright, Music. John is a professional musician, with a background in teaching, organ and piano playing, and conducting. He is the conductor of Charlton Kings Choral Society and an examiner for ABRSM. His editing of some of Holst’s early works has resulted in several first publications and recordings.
Mike Jenkinson. Mike was co-opted as Trustee in 2020 to lead the Museum’s efforts on rebranding – delivered in September 2021. He has been a Volunteer at the Museum since 2010 and supports Front of House. A retired Civil Servant, his interests include music, golf, 10-pin bowling and travel.
Louisa Coley, Treasurer. Louisa joined in 2022. She is Head of Finance at the YMCA Cheltenham and has previously been Treasurer for the parents association at Pates Grammar school.
Lindsay Travis. Lindsay joined the board in 2022. Her love of historic homes and interiors drew her to become an early member of our Victorian Book Group. She has held a variety of roles in the charity sector – mainly around fundraising, event management and publications and has previously volunteered at the Museum of Cambridge and a small community Museum in Namibia.
Martin Renshaw, Development. Martin became a Trustee in 2020 and is responsible for a major project to embed rebranding. Previously he worked in IT as a computer programmer and project manager. His other voluntary activities include Friends of The Wilson and Cheltenham Bridge Club.
Laura Kinnear, Curator. Laura has been Curator since 2008. Her love of museums began as a child aged 8, when she first visited the Holst and the Pittville Pump Room Costume Museum. On completing her Masters in Museology at UEA (2004) she worked at Gloucester Folk Museum and The Wilson. She is passionate about interpretation and widening audiences. When she is not working at the Museum she can be found writing her novel.
Lucy Moriarty, Operations and Learning Manager. Lucy has fond memories of making drops scones on the Museum range during a school trip in 1991. She returned as a member of staff in 2018. Prior to this she worked for Gloucester City Council Museums Service. She has a degree in History and an MA in Socially Engaged Practice in Museums and Galleries.
Building Adviser – Clive Petch
Cleaning – Jilly Danaher
Conservation – Louise Allen
Educational Delivery Support – Mandy & John Rowlands
Front of House Support & Social Media – Zak Infanti
Graphic Design – Sara Rossiter, Sarah Harvey
Holst House Journal – Anci Seymenliyska & Charlotte Bythesea
Website – David Hewitt
Most of the day to day work required in running our Museum is undertaken by a dedicated and long-serving group of Volunteers. To find out more about volunteering at Holst Victorian House see the Volunteers Page.
To find out more about Gustav Holst, Cheltenham local history, and art and music in the town, please see the following organisations.
The Life and works of Gustav Holst:
Pittville and Cheltenham
Music and Art in Cheltenham